Block, F. L. (2014). Love in the time of global warming. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
Seventeen-year-old Penelope has lost everything—her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother. Like a female Odysseus in search of home, she navigates a dark world full of strange creatures, gathers companions and loses them, finds love and loses it, and faces her mortal enemy. She learns to follow the orange butterflies that appear along her path; they lead her to meet Hex, Ez and Ash, and she learns that they all have something in common, something that will defeat the evil giants that roam the land and feed off human flesh. But she has to sacrifice something of her own in order to put the world back on track. Francesca Lia Block has created a world that is beautiful. At the helm is Pen, a strong heroine who holds hope and love in her hands and refuses to be defeated.
Commentary and Text Connections:
Block uses an abundant amount of imagery based on famous paintings and artists throughout history. She paints beautiful pictures with her words, and she blends her story within the prose of Homer’s The Odyssey. What Block does brilliantly is refashion Homer’s tale into a story with a feminist lens. Penelope is strong, level-headed, a heroine of epic proportions in an epic tale of loss and love, death and rebirth, tragedy and hope. Penelope is finally given her own journey rather than waiting passively for her husband’s return from the war.This fantasy novel does have obscene language and overt sexual references, so it is best suited to high school students.